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ROC Weekly News Bites
$590M Settlement for Native American Tribes, Importance of Open Conversation for People of Color in Recovery, and Social Media Platforms Sued Over 11-Year-Old's Suicide
Here is a recap of some of the top industry-related news stories of the week:
Native American tribes reach $590 million opioid settlement
Native American tribes have reached settlements totaling $590 million with Johnson & Johnson and the country's three largest drug distribution companies.
All federally recognized tribes in the U.S. can participate in the settlements, even if they did not sue over opioids.
W. Ron Allen, chair of the Jamestown K’Klallam Tribe in Sequim, Wash., called it a big deal for tribes to reach their own settlement, in contrast with tobacco industry deals in the 1990s that left out Native American groups.
One study cited in the settlement found that Native Americans have had the highest per capita rate of opioid overdose of any population group in 2015.
Under the deal, Johnson & Johnson would pay $150 million over two years. AmerisourceBergen; McKesson, based in Irving, Texas; and Cardinal would contribute $440 million in total over seven years.
Each tribe could decide whether to participate, but would be required to use the money to deal with the opioid epidemic.
The deal would take effect when 95% of the tribes with lawsuits against the companies agree to the settlement, said Tara Sutton, a lawyer whose firm is representing 28 tribes.
Color me sober: why open conversation is fundamental to recovery for people of color
In her KCRW program “Color Me Sober: Can AA evolve to include its most marginalized members?,” host, producer, and person in recovery, Shayla Martin spoke to various AA members about the growing need for recovery meetings specifically catered to people of color.
Jonathan Bastian talks with Martin about her thoughts and experiences with sobriety and recovery. Martin says that within AA, strict rules prevent a full discussion of “outside issues” like politics or religion. Martin explains that when an “outside” issue impacts her and other people of color’s ability to stay sober, it’s no longer an “outside” issue.
“Why do I have to edit myself and pretend like things are fine?” she says. “That's extremely dangerous for me, because that's how I drank.”
Meta, Snap sued over social media ‘addicted’ 11-year-old girl’s suicide
Meta Platforms Inc. and Snap Inc. are to blame for the suicide of an 11-year-old who was addicted to Instagram and Snapchat, the girl’s mother alleged in a lawsuit.
The woman claims her daughter, Selena Rodriguez, struggled for two years with an “extreme addiction” to Meta’s photo-sharing platform and Snap’s messaging app before taking her life last year.
In November, a group of U.S. state attorneys general announced an investigation of Instagram over its efforts to draw children and young adults, taking aim at the risks the social network may pose to their mental health and well-being. The states’ probe was launched after a former Facebook employee-turned-whistle-blower testified in Congress that the company knew about, but didn’t disclose, harmful impacts of its services like Instagram.
A Meta spokesperson said in November that allegations the company puts profit over safety are false and that “we continue to build new features to help people who might be dealing with negative social comparisons or body image issues.”
Social media companies have been largely successful fending off lawsuits blaming them for personal injuries thanks to a 1996 federal law that shields internet platforms from liability for what users post online.
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